Tourist Ponders: Is Grimaldi’s Better than Sbarro?

Tourist/You Tube user chhuniewrites from Modesto, California checked out Grimaldi’s in Fulton Ferry to find out if their pizza pie was better than megachain Sbarro. See his verdict after the jump.

More importantly, where do you tell your tourist friends to enjoy great NY pizza?
Flickr photo via holycalamity

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  • Josh G

    For reals this is an actual debate?

  • Diana Vilibert

    So I think it’s kind of absurd that Grimadi’s vs Sbarro is up for debate…BUT, I have to say, I prefer Fascati’s on Henry St. to Grimaldi’s.

  • Matthew Parker

    Grimaldi’s used to be great, when Patsy ran it. But since he sold the rights, IMHO, the quality and taste have slid to 2nd tier.

    My verdict for best pizza in the area: Sam’s on Court Street in Cobble Hill. Superior taste to Grimaldi’s and without the attitude.

    Honorable mention goes to: Franny’s in Park Slope, DiFara in Midwood, and Company in Chelsea.

    Fascati is good and reminds me of the typical Bklyn storefront slice when I was growing up in Flatbush and Marine Park (gimmeayo!).

  • David G

    So I used to go to Grimaldi’s all of the time before I moved to the heights two years ago. I havent been since. I think the lines have increased exponentially in the past few years.

  • Victor

    To Grimaldi’s credit, it’s easy on the wallet, especially when you consider its location and tourist factor (Sam’s, Lucali, and DiFara pies are all over 25 bucks). I do think that particularly in the summer, taking out a Grimaldi’s pie and eating it at Fulton Landing or BK Bridge Park is one of the best meals you can have in the 5 Boroughs.

    I no longer live in the Heights but rather in Cobble Hill now, but Fascatis to me is still one of the best and most authentic slice places around. For Neopolitan style, Luna Rossa all the way down on Court may be the best in NYC — yes, better than Keste, Motorino, and Luzzo. For Brooklyn-NY style pizza, I do like \the big names like Lucali and DiFara. South Brooklyn Pizza is also pretty good, but the service there and at PJ Hanley’s is kinda crappy. I still havent been to Totonno, although for most tourists, it’s kind of out of the way — as is DiFara and L&B Spumoni Gardens.

    And in the City, I mentioned Keste. I’m also a big fan of Ovest and Luzzo for Neopolitan style. Gnocco in the East Village is a hidden gem for just normal “Italian” pizzas. I think Co Pizza has some unique pizzas, but the wait there can be pretty long and I’ve had some crappy service there on the few times that I’ve been there.

  • AEB

    I agree that Fascati’s is authentic–authentic American pizza parlor pizza. Good for a slice when you need a fill-up.

    If you like thick-crusted pies, Veloce at 103 First Ave. is also worth a try.

  • my2cents

    The best pizza I have ever had in NYC is at Salvatore of Soho on Hylan Blvd, in Staten Island. Get the vodka pie and go to heaven!

  • Miky

    Does anyone remember Cristardi’s on Clinton and President? Great Sicilian slices. And roasted garlic while you waited. What happened to that place?

  • KG

    Grimaldi’s is no competition for Gino’s on 5th Avenue off Bay Ridge P’kway, Bklyn, or Savoia, on Smith Street and really, truly good Pizza; La Villa, East 65th St & Avenue U, or Pronto, on Avenue R corner of Nostrand Avenue, all Brooklyn. L&B, Spumoni Gardens, the only thing good was at one time, their spumoni, food, service and pizza, seriously, in my opinion, and my taste, ‘SUCK,’ big time! Totonno’s did burn down, but were the best in Coney Island, to date, they’re not reopened or rebuilt.

  • jj

    grimaldis sucks. i like to tell everyone on line to go around the corner to the good place with the bad name

  • Andy

    I think Grimaldi’s is good, but def not worth waiting 45 mins in line. I simply don’t understand every time I see all the tourists lined up around the block. Front Street pizza in Dumbo is pretty good and also L’Asso in NoLita.

  • arni

    Seriously? Grimaldi’s vs. Sbarro?

    I may not be a NY/ Brooklyn native but Sbarro will never be in the same level as Grimaldi’s.

    My friend took to Grimaldi’s 2 months ago and it was awesome. If I may compare, perhaps Lombardi’s is a better match rather than Sbarro. IMHO.

  • Matthew Parker

    @Victor: I took out from Sam’s this evening. A large pie with two toppings was $22.50.

  • Henry

    I walked by Layla Jones on Court street had a slice and it was so good I grab one every time I’m remotely near the place. Layla Jones is the best pizza in the area!

  • Victor

    @ Matthew Parker —

    I dined it so the pizza was around 25 bucks including tip.

    @ Henry –

    I think Layla Jones is a great lunch spot. Their patio area is great in the summer. All the employees there are very nice. I’m not the biggest fan of their slices, but if you order a pizza, it’s pretty good. And their meatball hero is very very tasty.

  • Joe

    Lucali, Fascati, & Sam’s. I like DiFara’s but its a tad greasy and the wait can be crazy.

  • nabeguy

    I’ve got to relate this story, since it’s relevant to this thread. As I was walking home from the Clark St station this evening, I encountered a large group of folks who were clearly tourists. The leader of the group asked me if they were going in the right direction for Grimaldi’s (which I have affectionately dubbed Grrrr-maldi’s). I told them, yes, keep going up Henry Street to the end and make a right and then look for the long lines. At that point, there was a resounding groan from the group. It just so happened that we were passing Fascati’s at the time, so the natural question was “are they any good?” I told them that they do a genuine Brooklyn slice, but I suggested they try DiFaris to which they responded that they had gone there, but it was closed on Mondays so they settled for Lombardi’s. At that point, the penny dropped…pizza tourists. So when I told them that Grimaldi’s does, in fact, do a decent interpretation of a brick-oven, thin crust pizza but you might have to wait outside for an hour to gain entrance, the immediate reaction was “Taxi!!!”

  • Hicks St Guy

    @my2cents, Lee’s Tavern is much better. And I still can’t see why anyone would recommend Fascati’s, average, barely, at best.
    Ignazio’s down around the corner from Grimaldi’s is much better
    than the rude bast—s in Fascati’s.

  • Peter Loibl

    My favorite is Sam’s, and I have this web site to thank for it: I was a big Grimaldis backer until someone on this site (maybe you Matthew? Can’t remember) recommended Sam’s … by far my favorite in NYC.